Report: Facebook Failed Election Disinformation Test in Brazil
According to the human rights group Global Witness, Facebook has failed to filter out online advertisements that included obviously false messages about Brazil's upcoming Oct. election.
- According to the human rights group Global Witness, Facebook has failed to filter out online advertisements that included obviously false messages about Brazil's upcoming Oct. election.
- Global Witness submitted ten fraudulent ads that included misinformation such as promoting the wrong election date, incorrect voting methods, and questioning the integrity of the election - including the country's electronic voting system.
- Facebook's parent company, Meta, began requiring "paid for by" disclaimers for election-related ads, but Global Witness says that its ads were approved without meeting that requirement. They were also not required to use a Brazilian payment method, another rule Meta says it put in place as a measure designed to crack down on foreign election interference.
- The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro also conducted a study of its own, finding more than two dozen ads on Facebook and Instagram with misleading info or attacks on voting machines. They were also found to have been financed by political candidates.
- This comes after Meta-owned platforms and Telegram have agreed to take action against misinformation, which was allegedly crucial to the 2018 election of Pres. Bolsonaro.
- The upcoming Oct. election will be the first since the incumbent Bolsonaro came to power, with fears of political violence amounting should the results be contested.
Sources: Al Jazeera, PBS NewsHour, Time, and Financial Times.
- Left narrative, as provided by The Washington Post. Facebook has a lot of work to do before the October election. Disinformation played a role in the last election, and the tech giant needs to prioritize strengthening safeguards so Jair Bolsonaro can't mislead Brazilians into thinking the system is rigged against him.
- Right narrative, as provided by New York Post. Left-wingers remain upset that Pres. Bolsonaro has been able to use social media to garner support. That's why they're still using the so-called "misinformation" card to demand that Facebook restrain free speech. The social media giant has already admitted to using left-leaning fact-checking in its crusade against misinformation.